Florence Township Police warn of police impersonator

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Florence Twp Police warn of police impersonator
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Florence Twp Police warn of police impersonator: Maggie Kent reports on Action News at 5 p.m., April 11, 2018

FLORENCE TWP., N.J. (WPVI) -- Florence Township Police are warning residents to be observant if they get pulled over. They say to ask for the officer to show identification and if you feel something isn't right, call 911.

Bill McLaughlin, a former Trenton Police department with 25 years on the force, cannot run his Knock Out Cafe in Florence, New Jersey without bread.

At 5:30 a.m. every morning the delivery man drops off six dozen rolls for the day.

On April 4, that delivery driver ran into someone he believed was a police officer outside with a gun drawn.

"Red flags were going up," said McLaughlin. "He proceeded to search the truck which shows he knew nothing about law-enforcement and he was doing an illegal search."

Florence Township Police said at the time it may have been hard for the victim to spot the fake.

"There was a gold insignia on the shirt, some police equipment on the belt and the vehicle was a police-type vehicle," said Florence Township Police Det. James Ford.

The imposter searched the delivery driver's pockets, accusing him of carrying drug paraphernalia.

"He patted him down and didn't realize that an asthma inhaler is not a marijuana pipe," said McLaughlin.

Detectives said the man posing as law enforcement didn't steal anything before leaving, but the violation was far from harmless. Investigators are now sharing a warning.

"That six sense starts to make you wonder if this is a true police interaction, you can certainly call 911," said Ford.

Three days after the incident at the Knock Out Café, investigators in Delanco received a report about two men posing as officers who searched a man's car, seemingly for no reason.

The two departments are working together on the investigation.


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